20 September 2007


I have four boys and through the years, they’ve seemed at times like alien creatures. As I’ve read books for and about boys I’ve learned to relax about their strangenesses, even if I still don’t really understand them. Here’s a list of my favorites:

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (of course!)

The Story of a Bad Boy, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich (I have my dad’s old copy, given to me by my grandmother.)

Penrod, by Booth Tarkington (this is a hard-to-read-aloud book because I laughed so hard through the whole thing.)

The Real Diary of a Real Boy, by Henry Shute (another hard-to-read-aloud book, not only because of the laughter, but because I had to stop and spell everything out loud.)

I’m always on the lookout for books in this category and I think I’ve found another, a real gut-buster: Le Petit Nicolas, first published in 1959 by Sempé and Goscinny (the men who brought the world Asterix). It seems boy-weirdness crosses cultural lines.

I ordered several books for my French-studying children this year. I love our French Children’s Bible and both stories in the Ernest et Celestine series (Ernest et Celestine Vont Pique-Niquer (Ernest and Celestine Go on a Picnic) and La Tasse Cassée (The Broken Teacup)), but I think Nicolas is going to be my favorite this year. So far, I’m understanding about 2/3 of what I read, but I’m laughing out loud several times on each page. This is available in an English translation.
Now to look for an affordable electronic French dictionary to speed things up.